Law and Business Study Kit

The Contractors License Guru is pleased to announce that our Law and Business Study Kit has just been updated.

The update includes:

  • New look and format
  • All laws/regs updated
  • Expanded from 4 chapters to 6
  • New chapter on private/public works contracts
  • New chapter on Ops Management incl. estimating/bidding process
  • Simplified language
  • Includes federal forms i.e. W-2 and I-9
  • Fill-in exercises located throughout the book for easy review
  • New CD’s & DVD’s
  • Purchase your kit today!

Updated California Law Business Contractors License Exam Kit_1Updated California Law Business Contractors License Exam Kit

CSLB Reassigning Application Technicians

CSLB Reassigning TechniciansI was told recently that the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), Licensing Department, has reassigned several of their license application technicians to their call center.

This is good news, bad news.

Good news because their call center has lacked competent people for a very long time.  You could call three times and get three different answers to the same question.  These long-time employees, many with over ten years at the CSLB, will bring valuable knowledge to the center and the consumers that call them.

The bad news is that they’ll be hiring new people for the licensing department to backfill the positions vacated by the move.  Why is that bad news?  Because these new techs won’t know anything about the licensing process.  It will take months for them to be trained to a point where they’re comfortable in what they’re doing and to have a good understanding of the processes and intricacies involved in contractor applications.

Not only that, but the comfortable short-term backlogs we’ve been experiencing will be no more.  It’s possible that the backlogs could increase to months instead of weeks, as it is now.

After 17 years of working for and dealing with the CSLB, they still manage to baffle me with their ill-conceived ideas and hair-brained schemes.  It’s almost as if they are not capable of looking one or two steps ahead.

It’s unlikely they will un-do this bad idea, so for all of us who process apps and the people who are applying for a license will be paying the price for the foreseeable future.

CSLB Raising Fees


CSLB Raising FeesThe CSLB will be raising fees on July 1, 2017.  Get ready to dig a little deeper into your wallet.

It’s been a long time since the Contractors State License Board has raised their fees, but here they come.

Click here to view the fee increase chart in a PDF.

Application and Licensing Fees June 30, 2017
or before
July 01, 2017
or after
Original Application (exam or waiver for one classification) $300 $330
Initial License Fee $180 $200
Additional Classification (for existing license) $75 $150
Additional Classification (each) (with waiver or joint venture application for original license) $75 $75
Re-Examination $60 $60
Add New Personnel (for existing corporation or LLC) $0 $100
Replacing the Qualifier $75 $150
License Reactivation Application $360 $400
Joint Venture Application total fee for one classification
(Application fee plus initial license fee)
$480 $530
Home Improvement Salesperson Registration Application $75 $83
Asbestos Certification Application $75 $83
Hazardous Substance Removal Certification Application $75 $83
Fingerprinting Fees—Paid to Live Scan Operator
Dept. of Justice Processing Fee
Federal Bureau of Investigation Processing Fee
Live Scan “Rolling Fees”
Each Live Scan site sets its own fee—CSLB does not set the price. Rolling fees are available on DOJ listing of Live Scan sites
Varies Varies


Please Note:

The required fee amount to renew your license is based upon the license expiration date.

If your license expires after June 30, 2017, you must pay the increased renewal fee amount, even if you make your payment before June 30, 2017.

The correct amount due appears on the renewal notice you received from CSLB.


License and Registration Renewal Fees Licenses that expire
June 30, 2017
or before
Licenses that expire
July 01, 2017
or after
Active Timely Renewal
(Postmarked or received at CSLB [for hand deliveries] on or before the expiration date)
$360 $400
Active Delinquent Renewal
(Postmarked or received at CSLB [for hand deliveries] after the expiration date)
(Renewal fee plus penalty)
$540 $600
Inactive Timely Renewal
(Postmarked or received at CSLB [for hand deliveries] on or before the expiration date)
$180 $200
Inactive Delinquent Renewal
(Postmarked or received at CSLB [for hand deliveries] after the expiration date)
(Renewal fee plus penalty)
$270 $300
Home Improvement Salesperson Timely Renewal $75 $83
Home Improvement Salesperson Delinquent Renewal
(Renewal fee plus penalty)
$100 $124.50


Miscellaneous Fees June 30, 2017
or before
July 01, 2017
or after
Duplicate/Replacement Pocket/Wall Certificates $11 each $12 each
Certified License History for licensed or unlicensed contractor, per name researched $67 $67
Certified License History for registered or unregistered Home Improvement Salesperson, per name researched $67 $67
General Status Letter $8 $8
Bond Status Letter $8 $8
Copies of Public Documents $0.10 per page $0.10 per page
Certified Copies of Public Documents $2 plus $0.10 per page $2 plus $0.10 per page

Rogue CSLB Application Technicians

Beware of rogue CSLB application technicians!

First.. Happy Memorial Day weekend.  Remember it’s not about BBQ’s, it’s about remembering those who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom.

Some application technicians at the CSLB have been falsely rejecting applications for corrections to their experience outlines.

The problem is… there is nothing wrong with the experience outlines they’re reviewing. The bigger problem is that many, if not most, CSLB techs have zero construction experience.  I was contacted by someone this week whose application was rejected for experience.  I reviewed his outline and it met the CSLB requirements for the classification he was applying for. I gave him some advice on how he could spruce it up a bit so that maybe the tech would realize that he actually is qualified.  After having talked to the applicant, I could tell that was definitely qualified.

But what are we to do?  If properly formatted applications and experience outlines are being submitted only to be rejected by someone who has absolutely no experience in construction… how can we play the game?  I’m a pretty black and white kind of guy. I’m a Navy vet who grew up knowing what the rules are. Rules that we all had to follow. But when we’re dealing with people who seem to make up the rules as they go…. there’s no way we can play the game!

The CSLB often forgets that their salaries are paid by application, license, renewal fees, etc., and without those applicants, licensees, they wouldn’t have a job.  And they often forget that they’re dealing with people’s livelihoods.  Taking care of contractors is certainly not in their mission statement. Their purpose is to protect consumers, but come’on… they could at least hire people who know the difference between a sill plate and a hot mop.

I know I’m asking a lot.  The State hiring of Program Technicians will never include requiring them to have construction experience… as I did.  So I guess we’ll just have to take the bad with the worthless and deal with each knucklehead that crosses our path.

Have a great weekend!!

Phil the Dog

I just have to share this….

I received an email from a client who just passed his exams.. part of his email included this…

“I want to thank you so much for all your awesome help, if I had known about you before I wasted not only TIME but MONEY as well……I will make sure my write up about you and your services are large enough EVERYONE ELSE can see…
Thanks Again

PS my kids named their new dog after YOU……PHIL”

That is soooo awesome!!! lol

CSLB Fees will Increase

Effective July 1, 2017, CSLB fees will increase.

CSLB 2017 Fee Increase



It’s gonna get a little bit more expensive to obtain, maintain, and change/update a contractors license!


Application and Licensing Fees Current Fee as of July 1, 2017
1.      Original Application $300 $330
(for those taking exam or requesting waiver for one classification)
2.      Additional Classification (each) (with waiver or joint venture application for original license) $75 $75 (unchanged)
3.      Initial License (good for two years) $180 $200
4.      Re-Examination $60 $60 (unchanged)
5.      Additional Classification Application (for an existing license) $75 $150
6.      Replacing the Qualifying Individual Application (for an existing license) $75 $150
7.      License Reactivation Application $360 $400
(for licenses expired for more than five years)
8.      Joint Venture Application $480 $530
(total fee for one classification – application fee plus initial license fee)
(see #2 above for additional classification fee)
9.      Add New Personnel Application $100
(for existing corporate or limited liability company licenses – not including the qualifying individual; see above for replacing the qualifier)
10.   Add New Limited Partner Application $100
(for existing partnership license)
11.   Home Improvement Salesperson Registration Application $75 $83
12.   Fingerprinting Fees – Paid to Live Scan Operator $49 $49 (unchanged)
Dept. of Justice (DOJ) Processing Fee ($32 DOJ &
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Processing Fee $17 FBI)
13.   Live Scan “Rolling Fees” Varies Varies
(each Live Scan site sets its own fee)
14.   Asbestos Certification Application $75 $83
15.   Hazardous Substance Removal Certification Application $75 $83
License and Registration Renewal Fees For Licenses/ For Licenses/
Registrations that expire on or before June 30, 2017 Registrations that expire on or after 1 Jul 17
$360 $400
16.   Active Timely Renewal (postmarked or hand delivered to CSLB on or before the expiration date)
17.   Active Delinquent Renewal $540 $600
(postmarked or hand delivered to CSLB after the expiration date)
(renewal fee + penalty)
18.   Inactive Timely Renewal $180 $200
(postmarked or hand delivered to CSLB on or before the expiration date)
19.   Inactive Delinquent Renewal $270 $300
(postmarked or hand delivered to CSLB  after the expiration date)
(renewal fee + penalty)
20.   Home Improvement Salesperson Timely Renewal $75 $83
(postmarked or hand delivered to CSLB on or before the expiration date)
21.   Home Improvement Salesperson Delinquent Renewal $100 $124.50
(postmarked or hand delivered to CSLB after the expiration date)
(renewal fee + penalty)

License Guru Insurance Services

Do you need a contractors license bond? License Guru Insurance Services can help.

I’ve created a simple, quick and easy form for you to obtain a contractors license bond quote!

 Use the form below or Click here.

[powr-form-builder id=3d464a34_1488318619]
Thank you for considering “The” License Guru Insurance Services.

DOI #0E82246

CSLB Chooses Against C1 Classification

I just received word that the CSLB will not be pursing the addition of the C-1 Classification.

I posted in October of 2015 that the CSLB would be creating this classification to allow the license holder to perform work that “provided that no load bearing portion of the existing structure is altered, added or moved; this includes footings, foundations, and weight bearing members.” Basically, it would have allowed the C1 contractor to bid, contract, and perform work that includes at least two unrelated trades that did not include framing.

My assumption was that this new classification was in response to their now defunked “critical classification” application process.  A process that was actually an underground regulation that was devastating the industry.  Now that they’ve finally come around to processing apps in a manner that is actually allowed by law, it would appear they’ve decided against the new classification.

I’m sure they have their “reasons”, but that new classification would have meant that many unlicensed people could have obtained a license. And, therefore, putting some sort of dent in the unlicensed industry that the CSLB has been so inept in containing or curbing.  They just can’t seem to get out of their own way.

I give this decision a BIG….

CSLB C1 Thumbs Down


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas to all of my clients, subscribers, family and friends.

2016 was a Great year for The Guru… thanks to all of you!


CSLB Registrar Announces Upcoming Retirement

CSLB Registrar Announces Upcoming Retirement
Click to enlarge picture

“SACRAMENTO – After a stellar career of more than 35 years in state service, Cindi A. Christenson has announced that she will retire, effective May 1, 2017.

Ms. Christenson, who has the distinction of being the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) first female Registrar, was appointed to the position January 1, 2015. As Registrar, she oversees a $60 million budget and more than 400 employees at CSLB’s Sacramento headquarters and 10 other field offices around the state. Prior to her appointment as Registrar, Ms. Christenson served for six years as CLSB’s Chief Deputy Registrar.

During her tenure as Registrar, Ms. Christenson played a pivotal role in overhauling the Home Improvement Salesperson registration process, making it easier for salespersons to get to work after joining a new contractor. She also oversaw the introduction of a revamped e-payment system so contractors can pay their fees at CSLB offices by credit card. In addition, Ms. Christenson has helped make sure CSLB meets its responsibilities regulating the quickly-growing and evolving solar industry.

“I’ve enjoyed my time as Registrar immensely,” said Christenson. “We’ve worked hard to follow our consumer protection mission, while serving as an industry watchdog and a strong partner in efforts to curb the underground economy. We’ve also worked hard to establish more streamlined processes for state licensure.”

“Ms. Christenson has done an outstanding job as Registrar,” said Board Chair Agustin Beltran. “She has served the Board, its employees, the construction industry, and most importantly, the people of California with distinction and integrity. This Board is in excellent shape as we move towards the future.”

Before joining CSLB, Ms. Christenson served as the executive officer for the California Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, from 1996 to 2009, and, from 1988 to 1996, was that organization’s senior engineering registrar. She also worked with the state Department of Water Resources as an associate mechanical engineer from 1981 to 1988.

A nationwide executive search for Ms. Christenson’s replacement will begin immediately.

CSLB also announces the pending retirement of Chief Deputy Registrar Cindy Kanemoto. Ms. Kanemoto plans to end her state service career, which started in 1977, on December 30, 2016.”

End of article…

What does this mean for the construction industry? That’s the big question! The “Cindy’s” have done a great job in getting the CSLB back on the right path. Let’s hope the next Registrar is just as good.